You CAN fight city hall...with the right blog


It's always interesting to see how people use the internet in creative ways for their own benefit. The latest in the hey, why didn't I think of that category may be a web site in which a married couple calls out their government officials on the carpet and lets everyone know how they've been doing, or not doing, their jobs.

Here's the story. Jerry and Michelle Udelson moved to Riverside, Illinois a couple years ago with their three kids and bought their dream home. (You can see a picture of the family here.) But the garage was really small, and so they sought permission to build a bigger one and gave their plans to the city for approval. It took something like a year, but the garage was approved, and naturally they began building. But last October, the director of Community Development for Riverside and chief building inspector realized the garage was too large and shouldn't have been approved. They issued a stop work order.

According to the Udelsons, the order wasn't received until April 15.

If the stop work order had been received in October, the Udelsons say that they could have fixed what they had begun building and made changes or started over, though it would have been costly: $20,000. But with not being told until April, they'll lose $100,000 if they have to demolish their almost-finished large garage and rebuild a smaller one.